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Gary Mc Brayer a Dallas listener remembers KBOX: "One of K-Box's lowest points during the 1963-64 period was its late response to Beatlemania and the British Invasion phenomena sweeping the country. While the station played the music, it never seemed to jump on the promotional bandwagon the way its competitor KLIF did. Like many stations around the country, it brought in a British voice on staff for a few months, but KBOX never became identified as 'The Beatles Station' (no 'K-Beatle-O-X here!) and KLIF all but stole the Beatles' live appearance in Dallas in September of 1964. The group was supposed to be introduced by a team of jocks from both stations, but instead, Charlie and Harrigan and Jimmy Rabbitt ran onto the stage and announced, 'KLIF is proud to present The Beatles!' Suddenly, the most important appearance by a rock-n-roll band in Dallas' history had become KLIF's event."
"Not until the arrival of the 'Jolley Green Giant,' Frank Jolley, in January of 1965, did K-Box seem to regain some of its fight. Jolley was a crazy man at night, and the kids loved it. He and Jimmy Rabbitt were major competitors for the evening audience, and, at least in my school, it was Jolley that everyone seemed to talk about and listen to. With the arrival of Dan Patrick, the former Charlie Brown of KLIF in 1964-65, and Joe Long, doing news with 'the voice of God,' both in morning drive, did KBOX seem to regain its old form by January, 1966."
When the April - May 1965 Ratings were issued KLIF had dropped to 33.9 from it's previous 50.1 with Rabbitt and Jolley had jumped from it's previous 14.7 to a whopping 33.7 and even Billboard Magazine noticed it with an "Amazing Rating" story in it's July issue. No other market in America had as many nighttime numbers as did Dallas, Texas in 1965. (Billboard story)
Former KBOX jock Dave Tucker recalls Frank Jolley's popularity with listeners: "There was a tree at the back corner of the KBOX property, and this became a hangout for station 'groupies'...many of them young girls, who would gather under the tree, radios blaring with KBOX, and were in view of the windows on the west side of the building...so the jocks were well-aware of them. Frank Jolley seemed to have the most groupies, attracting a small crowd under the tree every evening."
And KLIF was in transition at the time. Gary McBrayer continues: "KBOX also benefited from a series of changes at KLIF. Ron Chapman (Irving Harrigan) left the station in May, 1965 for WFAA-Channel 8 [Chapman hosted "Sump'n Else," "The Group and Harrigan"/"The Group and Chapman" and a local game show, "Away We Go," for WFAA between 1965-68.] After a series of various Charlie and Harrigans, the station tried to rekindle the magic of the original with the return of the first Charlie Brown, Jack Woods, but the Dan Patrick/Joe Long combination at KBOX beat the latest C&H reincarnation. Ken Dowe, who had returned to Dallas to do afternoon drive at KLIF in 1964, left for Cincinnati, and, with Jimmy Rabbitt moved to afternoon drive, Frank Jolley owned the evenings. With Ron Rice (and later Dave Tucker) and Bill Ward in middays, and the return of Bill Holley (the former 'Night Creature,') KBOX had a very powerful lineup.
"The station became more aggressive with its promotions. It co-promoted concerts by Herman's Hermits, the Mamas and Papas, and Paul Revere and the Raiders. Their promotion of the Hermits concert was so successful that pictures from the group's studio appearance at Radio Park appeared on the back of the group's 'On Tour' release in 1965. The 'Good Guys,' as the KBOX jocks were now known, did regular appearances at K-Box-sponsored weekend dances and charity basketball games. In 1966, the station promoted its own oldies collection, 'The KBOX Dusty Discs,' and produced a very slick weekly 'Forty From the Top' record survey.
However, the changes at KBOX weren't enough. Gary continues: "The owners wanted more, and as PD Bill Ward stated in Billboard Magazine, it was a drag being viewed as the #2 rocker in town. In an effort to make the station more attractive for a potential buyer, the station pondered changing to a country and western format."
But KBOX's Top 40 presence was indeed noticed by others: Nighttime personality Frank Jolley, who served as music director for most of the mid-1960s, was selected Music Director of the Year for 1966 by Billboard Magazine.
Both Ward and Frank Jolley accomplished something no previous dynamic duo had achieved with KBOX and the rating books. They took away the precious daytime and Nighttime ratings of the Original Top 40 station KLIF in Dallas.
First Jolley grabbed numbers 7 P.M. to Midnight by taking the station from a 14.0 share on the 1964 April- May Pulse to a 33.7 on the 1965 April -May Pulse Report Rating and then Jolley did the impossible again with his 500 watt nighttime signal. Jolley went on to beat KLIF in the Hooperatings 7 P.M. to Midnight when the report in 1966 showed a 22.9 to 20.1 again versus KLIF Dallas. Previously in 1964 the HOOPER showed KLIF 1190 37.9 and KBOX with a 5.0 share 7p.m. to midnight. (This timeslot 1962 - 1964 on KLIF was held by Russ Knight "The Weird Beard" and Bobby Brock/ Jack O'Day et al were paraded through like a revolving door on 1480 KBOX.)
Next Bill Wards' ratings also jumped up in the Pulse of 1966 and the Hooperatings of June 1966. He increased his visibility by appearing every time Jolley made a Personal appearance, with Jolley. Those two seemed to be joined at the hip. Ward would be assigned a remote and Jolley would be there too, handing out six packs of coke and records. They called their outdoor promotions the The KBOX Picnic Patrol Jolley would be the voice of the NHRA Dragstrip at Green Valley and Ward would be racing against his Edsel down the track in a Hudson or something else hilarious. (Studebaker, Kaiser, etc.)
Both Jolley and Ward would be hired to appear at a major function and the newspaper would show their picture in the Sunday Magazine. It was not only their on air persona that made them both famous it was their outside contact with the community.
KLIF Dallas operated at 1190 kc with 50 thousand watts daytime and 5 thousand watts at night.
KBOX operated at 1480 kc with 5 thousand watts days and 500 watts at night. For KBOX it was an uphill battle to generate ratings let alone topple the Mighty Eleven Ninety with the Booming voice of Gorden McLendon on all station Id's.
In early 1966 Jolley concocted the idea of producing a KBOX concert with the proceeds going to the Danny Thomas Teenagers March on Leukemia. Jolley was the honorary chairman of the Texas teenagers march. Jolleys' connections stretched far and wide in the music industry. First, he contacted Bill Lowry of Lowry Music In Atlanta, Felton Jarvis of RCA in Nashville, John Abnor of ABNAK Records and many other record producers who provided KBOX with an all star lineup of acts for the presentation, which was a $2.00 two dollar concert held at Market Hall in Dallas. The lineup included The Five Americans a popular Dallas group, Tommy Roe, Dallas Frazier, Jon & Robin and the In Crowd, and many others twelve acts altogether.
(The Five Americans were a very popular group throughout the West and Southwest during the period known at the BRITISH Musical Invasion and they had adopted the look of the British acts while their music and harmonizing was that of the most popular Americans of the time)See's Candies, Inc.
In late 1966 Jolley was subpoenaed to appear in the courtroom in the trial of ABNAK Records versus KLIF and McLendon Broadcasting.
The Five Americans record was number one on the KBOX Top 40 chart, which JOLLEY as KBOX Radio's Music Director had produced.
KLIF had refused to both play the Five Americans record and place it on their Top 40 survey. ABNAKs contention was "how can that possibly be?" The record "WESTERN UNION" was climbing the national Billboard Charts and the record was gaining popularity nationally yet KLIF refused to play it? (Obviously in retaliation for the Market Hall performance of the Five Americans and Jolley's advance airing of the record on KBOX Radio Station.
Sworn to testify and show why he had placed the record on his chart at KBOX, Jolley was asked to stay during the lunch hour and use the KLIF record shop reports to create a survey based on the KLIF Information.
(Each week the top 40 radio stations would make calls to the fifteen or so record shops in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, and from those shop reports and his personal feel for new records Jolley would compile his survey on Thursday Nights after midnight. The Top 40 survey would go to the printer on Friday morning and the records on the survey would be put into play after five P.M. on Friday to gain a weekend advantage in the introduction of exclusive and new music ahead of the competition, in this case KLIF.)
On a giant courtroom blackboard Jolley was asked to compile a survey based on KLIF's record shop reports. According to their own reports KLIF should have placed the Five Americans record at about the fifth position on their printed top 40 survey which bore the words DALLAS' ONLY OFFICIAL TOP 40 SURVEY and the record was not even listed on the survey. The court found in favor of ABNAK Records and ordered KLIF to either place the song on their top 40 survey or remove the words DALLAS' ONLY OFFICIAL TOP 40 SURVEY.
KLIF put the record on their printed survey but has never once been played the record on the air.
Later, when Jolley went to work at KLIF in 1969 the record was in the oldies-favorites bin with labels across the grooves with a hand written note on the record "DO NOT PLAY".